How to disable FaceTime on iOS

Apple has had to deal with quite a few bugs on iOS 11. We wrote about fixes for several of them. For the most part, these bugs were either easy to resolve or they didn’t have a disruptive impact, with some exceptions. The same cannot be said for the new FaceTime bug that has been discovered. For now, the only way to fight it is to stop using FaceTime altogether. Here’s how you can disable FaceTime on iOS.

Disable FaceTime

Open the Settings app and scroll through the list of apps until you find FaceTime. Tap it, and on the FaceTime settings screen, turn off the FaceTime switch to disable the video calling feature.

You can disable FaceTime on iOS and still continue to use iMessages. Though both are Apple services that work with your Apple ID, they aren’t connected. Users have always had the option to use one without using the other. In fact, in some countries, FaceTime is banned and the iPhones that are sold in those countries do not have the FaceTime app on them.

The FaceTime bug

The FaceTime bug lets anyone calling you over FaceTime hear and see what you’re doing even when you haven’t answered the call. To say this is disturbing is an understatement. It’s scary. The bug has been called a nightmare for people who are being stalked or trying to escape abusive situations. It’s an obvious privacy problem as well. Imagine leaving your iPad in a room with children. An incoming FaceTime call could expose them to whoever is calling.

This bug, so far, appears to have surfaced after Apple rolled out the group calling feature for FaceTime and it appears to be present on both iOS and macOS. It’s a good idea to disable FaceTime on your Mac if you have one.

The permanent fix

Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime apps/services are easily one of the highlights of its eco-system. Many people cite them as the reason they do not switch to Android so you can rest assured that Apple is working on a permanent fix. It will likely come via an iOS or macOS update. If Apple is late to getting a fix out, or it can’t find one fast enough, it may roll back the group calling feature.

In the meantime, the company has already been sued over this bug and it is possible that more lawsuits will surface even after the bug has been fixed. Many users are speculating that this is some sort of ‘backdoor’ in FaceTime that Apple built to help LEAs but the company still takes privacy seriously even if its QA has slipped quite a bit.

Read How to disable FaceTime on iOS by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to add a search engine in Chrome for iOS

We did a post on adding a search engine in Chrome but it was exclusively for the desktop version of the browser. Chrome isn’t just available for desktops though. It has a mobile version for both Android and iOS, and adding a search engine to its mobile versions is not only different but incredibly restricted as far as iOS is concerned. Up until a recent update, users could not add search engines outside those suggested by Chrome on iOS. With the new update, you can finally add any search engine in Chrome for iOS.

Search engine in Chrome for iOS

You can view the list of preset search engines in Chrome for iOS from its settings. Open Chrome on your iPhone or iPad and tap the more options button at the bottom right. From the menu that opens, tap Settings.

The Settings screen has a Search Engine preference. Tap it and you will see a list of the default search engines in Chrome for iOS. They are: Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, and AOL.

To add a search engine not listed on this preference panel, open a new tab in Chrome and visit the search engine’s home page. Search for anything on the search engine. Allow the results page to load. When it completes, return to the Search Engine preference in Chrome’s Settings.

At the very bottom, you will see the search engine that you just used to conduct the search. Select it to set it as the default search engine. This method is obviously easier since you don’t need to figure out what the search query URL is.

If you don’t see the option, make sure that Chrome is up to date. This ‘feature’ appears to have been added in version 72 which was released today. You can check the app version from Chrome’s own settings as well as from the App Store.

As for removing a search engine, there doesn’t appear to be a way to do so. You can always switch to a different search engine including any search engine included on the list. It is possible that if you do not use the custom search engine at all, and never visit it, Chrome may eventually remove it from the list of search engines. Even if it doesn’t, it never combines it with the default list of search engines.

iOS, as anyone will tell you, is incredibly restrictive in what it allows apps to do but for Google to have taken this much time to add this feature when, apparently, there wasn’t much of a hurdle to overcome, is a bit annoying to say the least.

Read How to add a search engine in Chrome for iOS by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to rotate videos on iOS

You can rotate photos pretty easily on a basic image editing app. This holds true for both desktops and smartphones. The basic photos app on both Android and iOS can rotate photos however, the same feature isn’t available if you’re dealing with videos. If you want to rotate videos on iOS, you need to install a free, ad-supported app called Video Tools: Reverse Crop Edit.

Rotate videos on iOS

Install Video Tools: Reverse Crop Edit from the App Store. Open the Photos app and tap the video that you want to rotate. Tap Edit at the top right. The edit screen for videos looks different from the edit screen for photos.

Tap the more options button at the bottom.

From the menu that opens, select the Video Tools: Reverse Crop Edit app. If you don’t see the app, tap More and enable it from the list of apps. Return to the menu and select the app once it appears.

The video will open in Video Tools: Reverse Crop Edit. It has a few different editing options. Tap the Rotate button to rotate it however you want.

Before you tap Done, you should know that the app will overwrite the original video. It won’t add a watermark or downgrade the quality but if you would nevertheless like to keep the original untouched, make a copy of it first in the Photos app. Tap Done and the rotated video will be saved.

You can use this app to rotate videos for social media apps that do not recognize a video that’s been recorded in landscape. If you have a video recorded in portrait mode i.e., a vertical video, this app won’t be of much use to you. You can always use it to rotate the video but it’s still going to be a vertical video.

The rotation isn’t just something your iPhone or iPad will recognize. If you transfer the video to a desktop system, or upload it to a website like YouTube, the rotation will still stick and be recognized as such. You may run into trouble with the video if you use a more advanced video editor. If that’s the case, the original saved version of the video will come in handy. Any advanced video editor ought to be able to rotate the video so you can simply rotate the video in it instead.

Video Tools: Reverse Crop Edit has ads that you can remove with an in-app purchase.

Read How to rotate videos on iOS by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to add Netflix shows to an Instagram Story

Netflix content isn’t normally the kind you’d find on HBO or AMC. The streaming service may eventually add hit shows from major networks but it still has unique content that you won’t find elsewhere. In fact, Netflix has finally gotten its first Oscar nomination for best picture this year so there is good, exclusive content to watch. Part of what makes its content popular has to do with social media and the company knows this which is why it’s added a new feature that lets you share Netflix shows to an Instagram story.

Netflix show to Instagram Story

In order to share a Netflix show, or a movie to your Instagram story, you must be running the latest version of the Netflix app. For good measure, make sure your Instagram app is also up to date.

Open Netflix and look for a show or a movie that you want to share. Tap the Share button on its details’ page and from the options that appear, select Instagram Stories. On iOS you will be prompted to allow Netflix to open Instagram. Android may, or may not show you a similar prompt. It depends on what version of the OS you’re running.

Netflix will create a story for the show or movie that you selected and then Instagram will be opened. The content for the story will of course come from Netflix. Once the story has been created, you will be given the option to edit it.

The editing options are the same that are available for a regular, non-Netflix story. Once you’ve edited the story, you can share it with everyone or with just a few close friends.

The story that Netflix creates features a poster image for the content that you’re sharing and its name. You cannot change the image and you do not get to choose which one is used. You can reposition the name of the show or movie but you cannot delete it, edit it, or change its font.

All other content that you can normally add to an Instagram story can be added in the editing phase. This includes polls, count down timers, etc. None of the stories feature any audio or any video.

This is a fairly neat feature as far as Netflix is concerned though perhaps it might have helped to make the story a bit interactive i.e., allowing users to tap on it and be taken to either a show/movie’s page (if it exists) or redirecting a user to the show on Netflix.

Read How to add Netflix shows to an Instagram Story by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to edit GIFs on an iPhone

GIF apps are a thing, as are dedicated GIF keyboards that let you find and share GIFs without leaving a messaging app. There are also apps that let you turn live photos on iOS into GIFs. While there is no shortage of GIF apps for iOS, the ones available mainly focus on finding GIFs. There are few that actually allow you to edit a GIF. If you have a GIF that you’d like to trim down to a certain part, you can use Giphy to edit GIFs on an iPhone.

Edit GIFs on iPhone

Install GIPHY from the App Store. The GIF that you want to edit can come from GIPHY, or you can edit one that’s saved to Photos.

Open GIPHY and search for the GIF you want to edit, or tap the plus button at the bottom to access GIFs from your camera roll. The plus button will open the camera and that’s where you can access your photos from. Select the GIF that you want to edit.

GIPHY will open it in its editor where you can trim the GIF and add text to it, among other things. Edit the GIF, and when you’re done, tap the check button at the top right.

Once the edit has been saved, you can upload the edited GIF to GIPHY or you can save it to your camera roll. To save the GIF to your camera roll, tap the Share GIF option and on the share screen, tap Save GIF.

GIPHY doesn’t automatically let you edit GIFs that you find in the app. Before you can edit them, you’re going to have to save them to your camera roll. The editing options that are relevant are the text and the trim ones. You can also change the direction a GIF plays  ine.g., you can rewind it so that it plays backwards. GIPHY also has a few other playing options that you can try but you can’t disable the loop that the GIF is played in.

The final GIF will not have the GIPHY mark if you edit it in the app. It doesn’t really matter where the GIF originates from. GIPHY doesn’t add watermarks or anything else to it so it’s safe to use anywhere you like. If you trim a GIF, the final image you get will obviously be smaller however, if you add text to it, or add a sticker or effect, the final image will of course be bigger.

Read How to edit GIFs on an iPhone by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter